Re: The evolution of "evolution"

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Fri 28 Oct 2005 - 09:28:22 GMT

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    > But of course most speciation now is in fact thought to occur through
    > random variation and random fixation rather than by selection as Darwin
    > thought. There's good reason to think that some speciation is due to
    > selection, but not much. I worry that we think only that Darwinian
    > evolution is about selection (natural or sexual), when in fact another
    > really deep aspect of his view is common descent, and this is not tied
    > now to selection.


    Selection has _no role_ in the generation of species the majority of the time? Are you just purely talking about permanent absolute allopatry / completely discrete allochrony or whatever equivalent you care to pick?

    Elephants and fleas will never successfully mate (having diverged somewhat); but where this matters (i.e. in recent speciation events, where those species ranges [or whatever] overlap) selection is key in ensuring that hybrids are (1) demonstrably crap and that (2) parents who find a way to avoid sinking their genes into such crappy hybrids propagate more of those genes forwards to subsequent generations..?

    Random variation and fixation is _not good_ at producing adaptation without selection. Have I misunderstood you?

    Cheers, Chris.


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